Back in 1996, she was executed on the driveway of her of their South Austin home, by a person who cops have yet to find.
Her distraught mom Josie, 70, said: "Our family has been to hell and back. I think about this every day. It's like it just happened. I'm reliving the same thing over and over and over."
On that tragic day, Hernandez was coming back from her new job at Payless ShoeSource the first job she'd had in years and one which she hoped would provide for her family.
It would be her last thought as she died not long after reaching the hospital, leaving behind four children, ranging in ages from 8 to 12 at the time.
Homicide cold case Detective Mark Gilchrest, who was the original police detective in the slaying, said the case has gone cold because physical evidence and witness information has been scarce.
He told The Statesman: "This is not one of those DNA cold cases, or one where we can solve it if we get a magic fingerprint."
The 29-year Police veteran added that they still think her death may have had ties to the Texas Syndicate prison gang but a federal investigation into that group in the early 2000s made witnesses reluctant to come forward.
Today, Paula Hernandez's children are adults after a childhood was marked by grief and anger over their mother's death, Josie Hernandez, 70, said.
She and the children desperately want to see the case resolved in some way.